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Serial bigamist denies wrong-doing

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Serial bigamist denies wrong-doing
Tijan S. with his lawyer Nikolaus Rast. Photo: Composite/APA
09:03 CEST+02:00
A Gambian man, who was detained in Austria on charges of bigamy, has rubbished allegations that he is a Casanova and a fraudster.

Tijan S., 28, who also used the names Tijan Bojang and Junior Crang, was arrested on October 2nd at Vienna's Schwechat airport after returning from a visit to Gambia where he spent the Muslim feast of Eid.

He is accused of marrying multiple women and having a relationship with 15 others he had picked up across Austria, using them for room and board whenever he was nearby and borrowing money from them which he never returned.

He has also been accused of benefits fraud, using his women, children and fake names and photos of friends who were also black to claim thousands from the Austrian social services.

Police say in the course of their investigations, they have discovered that Tijan kept a network of women across Austria from the western state of Vorarlberg to the capital Vienna. As well as the 15 active lovers, they believe there were many others who he used, then dumped.

Police also claim to have found four children Tijan has fathered with different women in Austria. Two of his current girlfriends were pregnant.

But speaking through his lawyer, Mr S., who is currently remanded in prison, said he was shocked to be labelled a serial womaniser and a bigamist. He also denied having a relationship at the same time with 16 women.

“He told me that he had three relationships … One girlfriend is pregnant and there is an ex-wife with whom he has a child. That’s it!” his lawyer Nikolaus Rast told the Krone newspaper.

The accused has also denied borrowing and failing to return large sums of money from his girlfriends.

“He explained to me that one of his girlfriends wanted to take a loan from the bank to buy a house with him, but he stopped her. Tijan does not fit into the scheme of a marriage swindler because they lure out much larger sums of money with a few women."

Mr S. expressed fears of spending a long time in detention and being wrongly convicted for a crime he has not committed.

“Tijan is just a fun-loving, cheerful and funny young man. He only wants to live a peaceful life," Mr Rast said.

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